Black pastor threatened for endorsing GOP candidate

Campaign 2014
by La Shawn Barber

Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at 12:04 pm

I “came out” as a conservative when I started writing professionally and blogging more than 10 years ago, and I’ve received my share of critical emails from liberals. I’ve been accused of hating myself because I oppose liberal policies like racial preferences—a government practice that holds blacks to lower standards than whites. Talk about irony. I’ve been criticized, ad hominem, for writing about inconvenient facts like disproportionate crime rates among blacks. I’ve been called a religious bigot for openly opposing the homosexual lobby’s agenda. And I’ve never wavered from my beliefs.

This sort of feedback was more irritating than threatening. I haven’t received nasty phone calls. The same can’t be said about the Rev. Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church in Chicago. He received threatening phone calls after endorsing the Republican candidate in the Illinois governor’s race, Bruce Rauner, who is running against the Democratic incumbent, Pat Quinn. Brooks also appeared in a campaign ad with Rauner. Some Christians might take issue with a pastor being political, but that’s a separate issue from the harassment. According to a Chicago TV station, one of the callers left this message:

“Yeah. We going to steal the sheep of the hypocrite. You’s a hypocrite. You token. You a puppet. You a Bruce Rauner puppet.”

Not to analyze the message too much, but the caller seems to be under the mistaken impression that a black person can’t really be a conservative without white manipulation. In addition to phone calls, someone broke into the church and stole $8,000 in donations going toward building a community center.

Brooks says he has moved his family out of their home because of the threats. The harassers and thieves obviously don’t represent the majority of liberals; it’s an extreme example of what happens when you take the minority view (within your community) on an issue. Ideas scare people. Believing that our central government should be smaller and limited, for example, scares people who see the government as savior and protector. They readily give up some of their personal liberty for the safety net. From their perspective, a bloated and intrusive government is better than the kind of government the founders intended.

There was a time when some whites didn’t want slaves to read. Why? Because knowledge is empowering. Give people ideas and change the way they think, and the status quo is at risk. That’s why we should value education, debate, and discussion, and condemn ignorance and attempts to stifle dissent.

In the end, all of this political and racial strife won’t matter. If you’re like me, you’re tempted to sit back and “enjoy” the decline, knowing that God has already won. This knowledge indeed comforts us and gives us confidence that He is in control. But we need to remember that one way He saves men and women is through our witnessing. We must be in the world making disciples, and that means we will we clash with people. Pray on Christ’s promise: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

La Shawn Barber

La Shawn is a former WORLD columnist.

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